I have learned just a bit about bee boxes—a pretty cool thing to collect I think, as each one represents its makers specific design solution to the task(s) at hand. From what I understand, this sort of bee box would be used to catch bees, then release them from various points to chart their flights (bees fly in a straight line when returning to their hives—a bee line—thus leading the beekeeper to the bounty) though I believe this could also be used as a queen bee carrier.
Fashioned from an old wooden box or crate, this one features three compartments-- one with an old honey comb still inside, which is hidden below a piece of wood laid flat over it on one side. At center is a wooden slat that divides it in half, and which pulls all the way out. Over top, a plate of glass, which is held tightly along the slides but slides open.
Late 19th/early 20th century I believe. 6" l x 5 1/2" d x 2 3/4" t. Wonderfully aged, with a great dry wood patina. At some point a strip of masking tape and, later, black cloth tape was wrapped around one edge of the glass for easier (and safer) gripping--the latter of which comes off easily. The glass slides open easily and all is in good structural condition.